My annual list of predictions on the global and local chess level
1. There will be a change at the top this year as I believe the world champion will be dethroned. Although I really admire Anand and will be cheering for him I don't think he will hang onto his crown.
2. Carlsen will once again end the year as the highest rated chess player in the world. He will even extend his lead in the rating list and while others will battle for the world championship he will become the unofficial world champion.
3. Kevin Spraggett is on top of the Canadian FIDE rating list by 3 points but I predict he will not be the highest rated Canadian by the end of the year.
4. Speaking of Spraggett, I predict his long awaited article on the problems in the Canadian chess world will finally be published on his webpage (Apr 1st would be a good day). It will be filled with lots of innuendo and some new info to me about what happened to Canadian chess when I was no longer an active chess player (1994-2007). It will lead to lots of discussion and accusations on "chesstalk" but not much else.
5. In 2010 Eric Hansen will pass Proper to become the highest FIDE rated Albertan. It may be some time before he relinquishes this position. He will get his IM title and be working on a GM title.
6. Robert Sasata will hold off MacKinnon to maintain the top spot on The Saskatchewan rating list. I hope he has a chance to play more chess this year but with a young family I know how difficult that can be. Mackinnon will continue his rating climb but will have to wait to overtake the master.
7. The 2010 Battle at the Border chess tournament will be the biggest and best by far and will draw stong players from all over western Canada.
8. Richard Wang will become the youngest Alberta master in some time and surpass Hughey and Rekhson on the rating list. They, of course, will continue the decade long bickering over the single digit difference between them and ignore the fact they have been passed by a preteen.
9. Two of the biggest rating gainers will be Wang in Alberta Jason Xiao in Sask. It's no coincidence that they are both juniors.
10. I will defeat a higher rated opponent this year. I have to put this in because I failed to accomplish this in 2009, but I'm not sure how much chess I will get to play this year.
There it is. Do you agree, disagree? Let me know.